How brands (and PR pros) can take advantage of Storify

It’s an easy and intuitive social media platform that can help brands spread the word about a product, event, or just about anything else.

Storify is a wonderful platform that enables brands to collect and share a range of content from the social Web. And better yet, it’s intuitive and pretty easy to use.

The platform lets you curate the best tweets, photos, links, and posts about a particular subject and plug them into an easily consumable “social story.”

Storify is an especially powerful tool for social sharing for a variety of reasons:

• It allows users to scan for content on about 20 different popular social media sites, such as You Tube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, in addition to websites.
• A story built on Storify cleverly incorporates images, video, comments and tweets.
• When a Storify story gets published, all of the authors whose content is included can be notified, giving an automatic list of people who are primed to share your story.
• A Storify story can be “liked,” commented on, and even embedded on a site. This offers explosive options for engaging with your audience and inviting sharing and conversation.
• It’s fun, it’s social, and it lures viewers and readers into a story that is curated to specifically show the topic selected.
• It’s free.

Promoting an event with Storify

To build buzz this summer for a client holding a big event, I created a Storify article that features a variety of tweets on the subject. On the evening before the day-long event, I published and shared the story:

Powerhouse brand promotion

Brands can use Storify to accelerate and spread their conversations and engagement with customers. After all, a significant element of turning willing and happy customers into brand ambassadors is making sure they feel appreciated and special.

To offer examples of that to which I refer, I took two brands I really like and created Storify stories to achieve different purposes. I don’t have any connection to these companies, other than I use and enjoy their products.

Case Study No. 1: A product primer with tips and how tos

The first example is about a cleaning product that’s been around more than a century: 20 Mule Team Borax.

Sounds boring, right? I think until the past year or so, it had the same packaging since I was a girl. I’ve never seen an advertisement for it or a coupon to entice me to buy it.

But the product works really well. It’s cheap. And it’s natural. A visit to its Facebook page shows some pretty enthusiastic fans. Plus, the product has some cool videos on YouTube with facts about the product and how to use it.

People even tweet about 20 Mule Team Borax. Who knew?

Storify could be a great tool for this brand. So I curated some pictures, tweets, posts, and comments and created a short story:

Case Study No. 2: Customers showing love and getting loved back

I’ve already expressed my love for the clothing brand Sport Skirts. A post that I wrote for the blog 12 Mostsee No. 8—included a reference to the company’s gear. After I shared a link to the post and mentioned @SportSkirts, I received a tweet in return.

This brand is deeply engaged with its customers. And the conversations are fun. Storify could be a great opportunity for Sport Skirts to reach a wider audience.

Its customers love the products, which are well made, wear well, and have great features (for instance, a perfectly positioned pocket for my iPhone, with a little place for my headphones to pop through). Plus, the company’s website describes the feature benefits like this: “Don’t lift your skirt to rock out.” Too cute.

So I curated some of the tweets, video, and posts from Skirt Sports into this story:

That’s just a start

It took about 10 minutes to create those two case studies. Curating is easy because the material is already there. You just search, review, and pull in the content you want that fits the story you’re telling.

Because Storify enables much wider amplification of other social media tools and sites, the ways that brands or nonprofits can use the tool in their outreach is almost limitless. It keeps things fun, and it lets community managers and brand managers use and curate material that’s already on the social Web.

For nonprofits, think about the many opportunities for reaching donors, showing love to volunteers, or demonstrating some of the results your work and programs create. Very powerful, and very easy to share and amplify on social media channels and sites.

If you use Storify already, I’d love to hear the other ways you use it. And if you don’t use it yet, but decide to try it, let me know how it goes.

Becky Gaylord worked as a reporter for more than 15 years in Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and Sydney, Australia, before she launched the consulting practice, Gaylord LLC. You can read Becky’s blog, where a version of this story first appeared.

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